The local public radio station here – in concert with all the other public radio stations across this blessed land of ours – is having their fall pledge drive this week. And I am defiantly not pledging to support. I am willfully and maliciously denying them my dollars and support, in spite of all their blandishments and incessant, unrelenting guilt trips. This, in spite of the fact that I worked part-time for the classical music side of that enterprise some decades past, before all the part-time announcers were let go. I thought for weeks that it was only me, that my announcing work was unsat. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if that was the reason, as I had gone very rote and mechanical over announcing the name of the piece of music up next, the composer and performing orchestra or soloist, and throwing in a bit of relevant information about the piece. No, it wasn’t me, as I later found out; they left all the other part-time shift announcers go – the girl who worked during the week at an animal shelter, the woman who was a mainstay of the local little theater group, the guy who was a full-time writer for various little local publications. All of us were served notice; a kind of Friday Night employment massacre.
Or perhaps, where people from different backgrounds find themselves in more frequent interactions with each other, to have concepts such as diplomacy (for the leadership classes) or simple good manners?
Kaufmann, a Canadian who teaches in Britain and is of Jewish, Chinese, and Latino ancestry. His most recent book is called Whiteshift, which he defines as “the mixture of many non-whites into the white group through voluntary assimilation.”
As he points out, something like this has happened before. A hundred years ago, Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish immigrants pouring into Ellis Island were considered to be of different “races” by white Anglo-Saxon Protestant elites.
Half a century ago, their descendants were regarded as still culturally and politically distinctive in Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s description of New York ethnics groups, Beyond the Melting Pot. A “balanced” ticket in those days had to include Irish, Italian, and Jewish candidates.
Today, all these groups are lumped together as “whites,” even though there are still perceptible, though muted, differences in political attitudes and perspectives between those with different ancestries.
I vaguely recall some of that writing about “unmeltable ethnics” during my adolescence in Milwaukee. Although Americans All was a rallying cry during Woodrow Wilson’s war, the existence of a Croatian soccer collective different from the Serbian soccer collective still meant someone not conversant with the past millennium of feudin’ and fussin’ in the Balkans ought be circumspect.
In addition to the other corruptions of our major national establishment and institutions, I think that I am most annoyed by the corruption of language. Certain euphemistic terms have come to be kind of newspeak in the Orwellian sense. In themselves such expressions are bland, anodyne and seemingly harmless, but what they mean in reality is horrific. Reproductive health care; that sounds so much better than ‘abortion’. Gender-affirming health care instead of ‘amputating breasts and male genitalia, surgically removing vaginas and massively administering puberty-altering drugs’. ‘Diversity, equity and inclusion’; there’s another harmless-sounding term, which actually means conformity, hamstringing the talented, and exclusion of the designated disfavored categories of people. ‘Disinformation’ is a much more elegant term for information that may discomfit the progressive ruling class or counter the established narrative, and ‘systemic racism’ means that minority criminal offenders are automatically excused, no matter how violent or vicious the crime they are charged with.
So, what other examples of corruption of the language can you suggest? What other newspeak terms have, as the expression has it, gotten your goat in a big way. Add in the comments.
I suppose to me personally that the additional tragedy with regard to so-called “trans kids” is the absolutely unyielding and rigid characterization of tastes and preferences as being specifically either male or female. This tragedy is aside from the aspect of irreversible chemical and surgical mutilation of otherwise normal body parts attached to troubled teenagers and gaslighted small children, but the whole rigid concept of personal traits, tastes and enthusiasts all being locked into the notion of being ‘male’ or ‘female’ and that if a child displays one or another of that set or tastes or behaviors antithetical to his or her biologically-determined gender … well, then that child must therefore be chemically and surgically altered to conform.
A lot of things came together this week – and one of them is the absolute end of my patience and grim toleration/indulgence of certain intellectual trends and racial sub-groups in our society. Curiously, this comes during a period of the mourning for and burial of the late sovereign Queen Elizabeth II, which in combination with some other news elements initiated this particular train of thought. My toleration of certain elements in our society has reached a critical point; to whit, I am done with black racism … and yes, black racism is an existing and very poisonous thing, as much as enablers and perpetuators of that variety of racism deny it, and our National Establishment Media try and sweep it under the rug, denying the very evidence of our lying, racist eyes. Some brutal and egregious rape-murder-kidnapping-assault happens in a city like New York, Memphis, St. Louis, Atlanta, a mass punch-out all-hands brawl in a fast-food restaurant, an amusement park or on a cruise ship, an organized mob loots a retail outlet … if there are no pictures initially of the perpetrators of such outrages against civic good order … well, everybody knows.
Everybody knows that an elderly person of white or Asian ancestry is more apt to be knocked out in the street by a male thug of color. Everybody knows that schools in urban black majority areas are snake pits of venomous disorder, places which well-meaning teachers flee. Everybody knows that the Black Lives Matter mass movement set a new land-speed record in going from cause to racket, materially benefiting only the original organizers and their subsequent investment in pricy real estate in upscale neighborhoods. Everybody knows, or at least suspects that reported racist incidents, such as Jussie Smollett, the BYU Volleyball imbroglio, the noose garage pull-down at NASCAR – all ballyhooed in the national media will eventually turn out to be self-aggrandizing fakes. The initial offence is headline news. But the apologetic walk-back is usually reported on page whatever. Huh. Imagine that.